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Art is Life/Life is Art: The Graphic Work of Dieter Roth 1999

Art is Life/Life is Art: The Graphic Work of Dieter Roth September
11-November 7, 1999
The University of Iowa Museum of Art

Art is Life/Life is Art presents a selection of Roth's artists' books,
prints and drawings, from 1957 to 1997, lent largely from the collection of
Dr. Ira Wool.

Born in Hannover, Germany, in 1930, then based in Basel and Reykjavik until
his death in June 1998, Dieter Roth was famously reclusive, although
regarded by many to be one of this century's most influential artists. Roth
was a fluent draftsman and an expert printmaker, yet his entire career was
an effort to resist tradition. Even in Europe, Roth operated outside the
mainstream of artistic activity. Food, vulgar language and playful
sexuality undermined the formal language of criticism. Embarrassing truths
about himself and humanity were exposed in his work. The proliferation of
affordable, mass-produced books, the use of unconventional, unstable and
sometimes even biodegradable materials and Roth's mistrust of the art world
made it impossible to institutionalize his work during his lifetime.

Roth's book production was an outgrowth of experimental work in graphic
design and visual poetry. The books began as optical, geometric
constructions and moved to experiments with the already-printed page and
historical notions of the archive and the diary. He is recognized as being
the first artist to consider the book through a process whose production of
form and content were one and the same idea.

Self-imposed distractions and obstacles to the interpretation of Roth's
ideas abound. Concordant with the application of principles of quantity and
variety, and the prospect of many possible developments, the multiple
meanings can be elusive, but not impossible to attain. Contemporaneously
the sheer beauty of Roth's work is immediately attainable. Carver, Carver
Foyer, North River Galleries

An exhibition catalogue with essays by curator Kathleen A. Edwards and Buzz
Spector is available.
The catalog contains: 42 pgs. with 21 reproductions
Cost: $9 plus $3 shipping  = $12
Send check to: University of Iowa Museum of Art 150 N. Riverside Drive Iowa
City, IA  52242-1789

Philobiblon: Book arts different by design
Hand binding, conservation, and project websites for historical agencies
Peter D. Verheyen
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